Mark O’Shaughnessy (26) and father-of-15 Brian Murray (46) died while fighting a blaze at a disused factory in September 2007. They were killed when the roof of the factory collapsed on them.
The families have always maintained that the deaths were not the result of an accident, but the consequences of policies pursued by the council.
Representatives of both families were told by Bray gardaí the Director of Public Prosecutions felt there was sufficient evidence to bring charges against the council, but not against named individuals.
The main charge is under Section 8 of the Health and Safety Act, 2005, which states that every employer shall ensure “so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare at work of his or her employees”.
Further charges relate to Section 19 of the Act, which covers risk assessment; Section 23, which covers the health and fitness of employees and Section 77, relating to an employer’s duty to give proper instruction to employees.
If found guilty as a corporate entity, the council faces maximum fines of €12 million, €3 million for each offence.
Mr O’Shaughnessy’s brother, Eamonn, expressed disappointment that no charges will be brought against individuals.
“It is not as much as we were hoping for. We were hoping the people that were responsible would let us know what happened.
“We are still in the same position as we were in over the last 3½ years. We are still waiting to find out what happened.”
Councillor John Brady, who has been campaigning on their behalf, said it was “shocking” that no charges were brought against any individuals in the council, as there had been repeated warnings about the alleged underfunding of the fire service in Bray.
“Myself and the family have been consistent in our call for a totally independent inquiry . . . We believe it is clearly the policies that were operated by Wicklow County Council over a number of years which culminated in the episode in Bray in 2007.”